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Archive for ‘Technology’

URL Shorteners Unite

The Christian Science Monitor reports today that a number of URL shortening services have agreed to cooperate by sending data to a common storage mechanism created as an archive for this purpose.

There has been a good deal of discussion — and concern — recently about the fate of shortened hyperlinks should another shortening service close down, as did not long ago. The hope is that this archive, currently hosted and managed by Gnip, will preserve crucial linkage between long and short URLs even despite the failure of a service.

The CSM reports that “, Twitter’s default link . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

From Galaxy (1954)

We discovered an early description of a computerized online retrieval system in the short story “How-2” by science fiction writer Clifford D. Simak. The story was published in Galaxy November, 1954.

One morning, a lawyer discovers a box with a do-it-yourself kit inside. Following the instructions for use, he builds a robot – one whose design happens to be misdelivered from the future. The lawyer is to appear in court. But his friendly robot spends the night before the trial building a new robot – a lawyer-robot.

‘”(A lawyer robot) with a far greater memory capacity than any

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

Lawyers Weekly Talks About Online Collaboration

In his regular column for Lawyers Weekly Magazine, freelance technology writer Luigi Benetton has a piece in the Aug. 21, 2009 issue on drafting and editing documents in real-time.

He discusses real-time applications like NetMeeting, and asynchronous platforms like wikis and traditional DMS. He suggests the latter are more appropriate for lawyers who don’t collaborate as smoothly together.

I point out that the efficiencies created by collaboration tools help boost lawyer productivity, which can raise billable hours and improve work/life balance. The amount of time learning new technologies is minimal compared to the returns over time.

Fostering more . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

Slaw’s Simon Fodden Featured in CBA’s National Magazine

Congratulations to Slaw and The Court founder Simon Fodden for being featured in the article “The Paperless Chase” by Emily White in the July/August 2009 edition of National, the Canadian Bar Association magazine (see pages 38 & 39). Simon talks at length about Slaw, law blogging, and technological change.

In the article, Simon explains:

I think there are a good many lawyers who would like to write much more than they do…Of course, they write memos and opinions, but I think they’d like to expand on a topic. And blogs give them that opportunity to do that.

White also . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Internet

Tossing Your Cookies

Every now and then you may wish to use a feature in your browser to check out which of the sites you visit have set cookies on you machine — those tiny morsels of text that get sent back and forth between your browser and the machine serving up web pages so that your site-specific preferences are known and respected. They are by and large benign, but, given that they track some of your progress through the web, they can be used to inform advertisers of your interests. And, because cookies can carry personal information, they represent a privacy risk, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

The Economics of Legal Research

One doesn’t normally expect a Blog quite as focused as the Huffington Post to spend much time on the legal publishing industry but Peter Schwartz’s post on the Reinvention of Legal Research is worth a bit of attention.

A couple of extracts:

When online legal research platforms were proprietary, online publishers imposed per-minute and per-use pricing structures. This pricing model facilitated client cost-recovery and allowed publishers to use law firms as information wholesalers. Because information is now a commodity, law firm clients will no longer pay for online legal research. New flat-rate pricing models for online research products reflect this

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Lobbyist Registration Searchability

I like to look for patterns. Not for handicrafts like one of my knitting pals, but rather patterns in data.

I recently had the ~opportunity~ to look for patterns in lobbyist registrations. Unfortunately for me, there are almost as many registries as jurisdictions. The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada is the federal government registry. It has an excellent database with great search functionality and many options for accessing this information:

* Recent Registrations
* Search the Registry of Lobbyists
* Search Monthly Communications Reports
* Statistical Reports
* Multimedia Tutorials
* Login
* Guides to registration . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

New Blog on Public Legal Education: Blogosaurus Lex

The Legal Resource Centre (LRC) recently launched a new blog: Blogosaurus Lex.

The LRC is the publisher of the magazine LawNow and of the legal information website Access to Justice Network.

It was registered as a charity in the late 1970s and its mandate is “to contribute to, advance and promote the legal knowledge and education of the people of Canada.” It is based in Edmonton, Alberta.

According to the initial post on June 22, 2009, the blog will feature:

  • new happenings at the Legal Resource Centre (LRC)
  • community engagement with other public legal educators and sharing
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Technology: Internet

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Well, I can confirm that this past week conformed to my expectations for excitement, and not just because the Toronto garbage strike ended. In fact, confirmation was in the air:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

New Email Scam Takes Advantage of Toronto Professional

According to CBC News and The Canadian Press, a newer type of email scam has taken advantage of a Toronto-based medical professional. The fraudster hacks into the person’s email account, changes the password so the person cannot access it, and then sends email to that person’s contacts. The fraudster, posing as the email address owner, claims to be stuck in a foreign city and needing financial assistance to get home. He or she asks for a modest sum, enough to purchase a plane ticket home, and has it transferred via a Western Union account. Out of 400 people contacted . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

LAWPRO Magazine: Changing Direction: Thinking Differently About Your Law Practice

The latest issue of LAWPRO Magazine – Changing Direction: Thinking Differently About Your Law Practice – is in the mail and on the web. Download entire magazine here (PDF format, size: 3.27MB)

Our cover stories this month all ask the question: Which kind of lawyer will you be? Legal guru Richard Susskind describes the five lawyer types he predicts will be in future demand. Karen Bell examines how some lawyers are innovating and resetting the legal services model. This article also contains a series of checklists to guide lawyers on the new skills and tools lawyers can use. In Strategic . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology


Yet another search engine has been launched. Spezify from Sweden is essentially a meta-search tool that presents combined results from Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and other sources in a pictorial fashion, thanks to its use of Flash technology. Results are spread across a window that is meant to be larger than your open viewing port, so that to see more results you scroll (or drag) up, down, left or right. The image slice below — the results of a search for Canada and courthouse will give you some idea; click on it to see a full window screenshot.

Clicking on any . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology